Leadership and Followership: Critical Factors that Most Greatly Impact Long Term Organizational Success

Without followers there can be no leaders and, conversely, without leaders there can be no followers. This is a time-tested maxim. This is true not only in humans, but in the animal kingdom as well, as it is a primal, naturally occurring relationship. However, despite the unbreakable bond between these two conditions and the absolute dependency one has on the other, historically, the majority of literature has placed greater emphasis on leadership. Positions of leadership are often strongly correlated to status, wealth, and education (Van Vugt, 2006). While this researcher does not refute the necessity or the impact a leader may have within an organization, it has become increasingly apparent that the role of follower has an equally important place. There is no question that an organization requires both leaders and followers. However, over time, it has been suggested that there are specific critical factors that both leaders and followers possess which impact the long-term success of an organization. Revealing these key factors and how they most greatly impact long-term organizational success is the focus of this thesis. While the first focus of this research discusses the leader/follower phenomenon, the secondary focus places specific emphasis on job performance evaluation, particularly within the Swan River Montessori Charter School organization. A ten-question survey was completed by its employees. The data collected ultimately created the foundation of a new system - one that meets the needs of both the leaders and followers within the organization.

Katie Curtis
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